Monday, August 24, 2020

Tattered Slippers Blog Tour: Interview with Kendra E. Ardnek


Hello, everyone! Welcome to the first day of the Arista Challenge Tattered Slippers group release! Our first release of the week is Kendra E. Ardnek's The Dancing Princess, the latest addition to the Twist of Adventure series. And today, I have an interview with Kendra herself . . . but first, a bit about the book and author.

About . . .

The Dancing Princess

Plagued by nightmares for the last few years, Katrine only wanted answers. Instead, she finds herself trapped in a tangled web of melody as she tries to free a cursed king and his brothers. No one deserves existence such as theirs, but dare she risk her very life?

Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads







Kendra E. Ardnek

Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she's frequently known to act before she thinks.

Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || TikTok || Amazon 




The Tattered Slippers

The Tattered Slippers are six retellings of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale, each one fantastical and magical. You don't want to miss any of them! You can learn more about the books and find the full tour schedule on the tour page.

The Tattered Slippers are the result of the 2019 Arista Challenge. The Arista Challenge is hosted by Kendra E. Ardnek; it invites fairy tale authors to come together in community as they work on unique retellings of a selected fairy tale.

Interview with Kendra E. Ardnek

Hello, Kendra! Welcome back to the blog! To start out, can you tell us what gave you the initial idea for The Dancing Princess and what additional sources of inspiration you might’ve found along the way?

So, once upon a time, I wrote stories about fairies. I had a whole society built for them, drew pictures of them and everything. One of the fairies was a story fairy, and she was very upset because the fairy tales we tell are nowhere near the "real" versions. The Dancing Princess was one of the titles I had tossed about, and it was supposed to be one of the two that had merged into the 12DP we know and love. Buuut then Bookania came along, and that idea kinda faded? Eventually, as I was writing the Twists of Adventure, I remembered this one and thought it'd make a lovely addition. And then ... it went Russian.

Ooh, I love rediscovering old story ideas and making them work now. What were some of the most challenging parts of writing this book, and how did you deal with those challenges?

Probably the fact that I knew so little about the story going in. How I dealt with it? Um ... I let the story be what it wanted to be? Which was a Russian genderswapped reimagining.

I feel that. The Dancing Princess is the fifth book in your Twist of Adventure series. Do you have a favorite out of your books in this series? And will there be more Twists after this one?

I think I'm going to be eternally partial to Poison Kiss, as it was a hoot to write, there were so many references and call-outs, and I love its ending message. As for more Twists ... I'm not going to say a hard-and-fast no, but for now, I don't have any plans to complete the series. I'd had a B&B percolating - Fairer than Beauty - but the story just doesn't want to be written. Eventually, maybe, I'll think up some more zany, adventurous twists, but right now I'm focused on launching two new fairy tale series - my Jane Austen/fairy tale mashups, and then some Superhero reimaginings. That said, the Twists of Adventure canonically take place within Bookania - just not necessarily on the same page as the main Quests, and there miiiiiiight be some more direct connections down the line.

Fascinating! I look forward to finding out about those! Between Bookania, the Twists, and these Arista Challenges, you’ve become very strongly associated with fairy tale retellings. What advice would you give to others who want to write these types of stories?

Own your twist. Even if you're not writing a twisted tale, a retelling needs a good twist - even if it's just "Rapunzel's diary entries." Know what makes your retelling stand out, and have fun with it. Maybe someone else has already done it before, but you can take it in your own direction. People love retellings because they love hearing the story they know and love with a fresh perspective, so let them see your love for the tale.

And as a bonus ... don't retell Disney. Sure, they're iconic, but they're also ... copyrighted. A reference or two is fine, but focus on making the story your own - and there is so much potential in the original fairy tales and their families, it's not even funny.

I will second that last piece of advice. So, you’ve retold quite a few fairy tales, including some that aren’t especially well-known. But are there any that you really want to retell but haven’t gotten around to yet?

I really want to write a Nutcracker retelling. I have two planned, but it's just never felt like the right moment to write them. I keep getting distracted by Cinderella ideas, buuut, one of them is a Nutcracker/Cinderella mashup, so maybe I shall prevail?

I feel like I should've known that would be your answer, given your love of nutcrackers. Moving back to The Dancing Princess: this book includes a lot of emphasis on music and dancing, especially the former. Are there any particular real-world songs you associate with this book?

Not really? Just find some good Russian music and play that. Maybe the Russian Dance from the Nutcracker?

All right. Also, because we have to have a fun question in here: you get to spend twelve hours with the cast of this book. How are you spending that time?

I'm not sure, really? I think I'd like to go hang out with the king's book-loving brother and explore some libraries with him. We'll go with that.

Sounds like fun. Finally, now that The Dancing Princess is out in the world, what can we expect to see from you next?

This. Also This

Ah, very exciting! (For those who don't feel like clicking the links: that's The Merchant of Menace, Bookania #6, and Love and Memory, Rizkaland Legends #3. And I believe both of those have preorder specials on, though I could be wrong about that.) Thanks for answering my questions, Kendra!

What did you think of the interview? Which fairy tales do you want to retell or see retold? Which of the Tattered Slippers are you most excited for? Please tell me in the comments! And don't forget to check out the rest of the tour stops!
Thanks for reading!

August 25 Tour Stops

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